Western Potash Corp. Significantly Upgrades and Expands Measured and Indicated Potash Resource to 244 Million Tonnes

Vancouver, April 26, 2011, Western Potash Corp. (the “Company”) (TSX.V: WPX, FSE: AHE) is pleased to announce the receipt of an updated NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for its Milestone property in southern Saskatchewan.  This updated resource estimate substantially increases the Milestone extractable Potash Resource to 64 million tonnes of Measured Resource (contained KCl), 180 million tonnes of Indicated Resource, and 701 million tonnes of Inferred Resource.  The updated resource estimate at Milestone was prepared by Agapito Associates Inc. (“AAI”) of Grand Junction, Colorado.

Mineral Resources for the potential solution mining intervals (Patience Lake, Belle Plaine, and Esterhazy Members excluding interbeds) are estimated to be as follows:

  • Measured Resource: 637 Mt in place sylvinite grading 30.47% KCl (64 Mt of recoverable KCl)
  • Indicated Resource: 1,857 Mt in place sylvinite grading 30.35% KCl (180 Mt of recoverable KCl)
  • Inferred Resource: 8,907 Mt in place sylvinite grading 30.31% KCl (701 Mt of recoverable KCl)

Mineral Resources reported here represent significant expansions in tonnage compared with the Mineral Resources previously reported in the NI43-101 Technical Report filed by the Company in July 2010*. These resource expansions are as follows;

  • Measured Resources expanded by 55%
  • Indicated Resources expanded by 34%
  • Inferred Resources expanded by 25%

* The NI43-101 Technical Report titled “Technical Report Concerning Mineral Resource Estimate, Subsurface Mineral Permit KP 408 and KP 409, Saskatchewan”, dated July 12, 2010 and filed on SEDAR on July 16, 2010 (the “Report”).  The Report was prepared by Agapito Associates Inc. and reported via news release dated June 3, 2010.  The Qualified persons for the Report were Dr. Michael P. Hardy, P.E (US), P.Eng. (SK), P.G. (US), Dr. Douglas F. Hambley, P.E. (US), P.Eng. (SK), P.G. (US) and Dean Pekeski, P.Geo. (SK).

Patricio Varas, CEO and President of the Company commented “We are very pleased with the
results of this updated resource calculation, though we are not surprised by it as extensive parts of the property surrounding the defined resource remain to be drill tested and our seismic data indicates substantially more potash is present, as was confirmed in our newest drill hole M-009. We now look forward to including this updated resource into our mine plan and feasibility process already underway”.  Varas commented further that “the expansion of resources is another step in the de-risking process of what management considers to be one of the largest, most accessible, independently owned Tier 1 potash solution deposits being developed in the world today”.

A detailed summary of the Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource within Crown and Leased Freehold Areas is presented in Table 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

Table 1. Measured Mineral Resource within Crown and Leased Freehold Areas Only*

Bed Average KCL
Grade (%)
In-Place
Tonnage (Mt)
In-Place KCL
Tonnage (Mt)
KCL
Resource**(Mt)

Patience Lake

28.66 314.27 90.06 29.60

Belle Plaine

30.13 131.70 39.68 13.04

Esterhazy

33.71 190.71 64.28 21.13
Total 30.47 636.68 194.02 63.77

* Search Radius of 800 m used; Mt = million tonnes; K2O grade > 15%; Density = 2.08, KCl = 1.58303 K2O.
** Resource accounts for geologic anomalies (5%), and extraction ratio (34.6%).
 

Table 2. Indicated Mineral Resource within Crown and Leased Freehold Areas Only*

Bed Average KCL
Grade (%)
In-P  lace
Tonnage (Mt)
In-Place KCL
Tonna      ge (Mt)
KCL
Resource**(Mt)

Patience Lake

28.60 930.4       1 26 6.09 83.78

Belle Plaine

29.97 391.00 117.20 36.90

Esterhazy

33.66 536.03 180.44 59.31
Total 30.35 1,857.45 563.731 179.99

* 8.0 km radius used; Mt = million tonnes; K2O grade > 15%; Density = 2.08, KCl = 1.58303 K2O.
** Resource accounts for geologic anomalies (25%), extraction ratio (34.6%).
** Resource accounts for geologic anomalies (9%), extraction ratio (34.6%).
 

Table 3. Inferred Mineral Resource within Crown and Leased Freehold Areas Only*

 

Bed Average KCL
Grade (%)
In-Place
Tonnage (Mt)
In-Place KCL
Tonnage   (Mt)
KCL
  Resource**(Mt)

Patience Lake

28.68 4,349.59 1,247.56 323.74

Belle Plaine

29.88 2,030.82 606.71 157.44

Esterhazy

33.47 2,526.82 845.61 219.44
Total 30.31 8,907.24 2,699.89 700.62

 

* 8.0 km radius used; Mt = million tonnes; K2O grade > 15%; Density = 2.08, KCl = 1.58303 K2O.
** Resource accounts for geologic anomalies (25%), extraction ratio (34.6%).

AAI have made estimates of the Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources based on a Radius of Influence (ROI) similar to that applied by mine operators and peer group explorers working on solution mining properties in the region.  Furthermore, the Measured, Indicated, and Inferred Mineral Resources were arrived at by discounting the overall calculated tonnage by Loss Factors of 5%, 9% and 25% respectively, to account for unknown geologic anomalies. The resulting potash quantity was further reduced using an extraction ratio factor of 34.6%, which is the estimated potash available to be extracted for the life of an envisioned operation leaving sufficient material to support cavern stability.  The resource estimate was prepared in accordance with the requirements of NI 43-101 of the Canadian securities regulators. As required by NI 43-101, a technical report supporting the resource estimate will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days following the date of this news release: reports on SEDAR are available to the public.

AAI has extensive experience in solution mining, resource characterization and preparation of 43-101 Technical Reports on Potash Resources.  AAI’s experience includes work for Intrepid Potash Inc. in the US, Rio Tinto and Vale at the PRC project in Argentina and for several prospective potash projects located in Saskatchewan.

In calculating the initial mineral resource AAI incorporated historical information available from public sources as well as new resource information obtained from exploration conducted by Western Potash between January 2009 and March 2011.  Exploration conducted during that time included the purchasing and/or acquisition, processing and interpretation of 474.5 line km of 2D and over 98 square kilometers of 3D seismic data, and the completion of ten exploration wells totaling 18,240 meters completed within the KLSA 008 Crown Lease area.  All ten of the wells drilled, spanning some 18 kilometers of strike length, penetrated the potash-bearing beds and have sufficient assayed core to allow for the calculation of potash mineralization thickness and grade.

The updated and expanded Resource Calculation will now be incorporated into the Solution Mining Plan, part of the intergrated Feasibility process (“PFS + FS”) currently being completed by AMEC Americas Limited (“AMEC”) as reported via press release dated January 19, 2011. The integrated Feasibility process remains on schedule and on budget, with an estimated “PFS” completion date sometime during the fourth quarter 2011.

The 100% owned Milestone property, comprising 500 square kilometers, is located 30 kilometers southeast of Regina, and southeast of Mosaic’s Belle Plaine Mine, one of the largest producing potash solution mines in the world.

About Western Potash

Western Potash Corp. is a mineral exploration company engaged in the evaluation, exploration and development of potash mineral properties in Western Canada. The Company intends to define and develop a world-class potash deposit in an ecologically sustainable, economically efficient and socially responsible manner.

This news release was reviewed by Dr. Michael P. Hardy, P.E (US), P. Eng. (SK), P.G. (US), and Dr. Douglas F. Hambley, P.E. (US), P. Eng. (SK), P.G. (US), of Agapito Associates Inc.  All individuals are Qualified Persons under NI 43-101 Rules and Policies and are co-authors of the updated NI 43-101 Technical Report on which this news release is based.

 The in-house qualified persons for the purposes of NI 43-101 guidelines are J. Patricio Varas, P. Geo and Dean Pekeski, P. Geo, both of whom have reviewed and approved the contents of this news release. Dean Pekeski is also co-author of the updated NI 43-101 Technical Report on which this news release is based.

For more information on Western Potash Corp.’s projects, please visit the Company’s website at: www.westernpotash.com

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

“J. Patricio Varas”    
J. Patricio Varas

President and CEO

This news release contains Forward Looking Statements regarding our intentions and plans.  Forward looking statements in this news release include that the updated resource estimate significantly upgrades the Milestone Potash Resource, which consists of 64 million tonnes of Measured Resource (contained KCl), 180 million tonnes of Indicated Resource, and 701 million tonnes of Inferred Resource; that “We are very pleased with the results of this updated resource calculation, though, we are not surprised by it as extensive parts of the property surrounding the defined resource remains to be drill tested and our seismic data indicates substantially more potash is present, as was confirmed in our newest drill hole M-009; that the addition of this tonnage is significant because it demonstrates over 95 years of production resources at an annual mining rate of 2.5 million tonnes of KCl product; that we now look forward to including this updated resource into our mine plan and feasibility process already underway”; that “the expansion of resources is another step in the project de-risking process of what management considers to be one of the largest, most accessible and best Tier 1 potash, greenfield, independently owned solution deposits being developed in the world today”; that the updated and expanded Resource Calculation will now be incorporated into the Solution Mining Plan, part of the intergrated Feasibility process (“PFS + FS”) currently being completed by AMEC Americas Limited (“AMEC”) ; that the integrated Feasibility process remains on schedule and on budget, with an estimated “PFS” completion date sometime during the fourth quarter 2011.  It is the Company’s policy not to update forward-looking statements. Various factors may prevent or delay our plans, including but not limited to, contractor availability and performance, weather, access, mineral prices and success and failure of the exploration and development carried out at various stages of the program.  Readers should review risk factors applicable to junior mining exploration companies generally to understand the variety of risks that can affect the Company.  

The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information, please contact
John Costigan, VP Corporate Development, at 604 689 9378

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